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Dry-Powder Inhaler (DPI)

Dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) dispense medication in a dry-powder form. DPIs can be used to administer bronchodilators as well as anti-inflammatory medications.

When properly used, DPIs can be very effective. The medication particles in the dry powder are so small that they can easily reach the tiniest airways. It's interesting to note that many patients do not even taste or feel the medication dispensed by the DPI. However, if you’ve administered the medication properly, your medication will work.

Be sure to ask your provider to demonstrate the proper use of your DPI when it is prescribed for you. Your DPI is activated by your breath, which means that you can control the rate that you inhale the dry-powder medication. It's important that you inhale with enough force to make sure the medication reaches the smallest airways of your lungs. When using a DPI, the most effective technique involves closing your mouth tightly around the mouthpiece of the inhaler and then inhaling deeply and steadily.

Different DPIs work differently, but the following instructions will apply in most cases:

  1. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding priming and loading your DPI with the correct dose of dry-powder medication.
  2. Breathe out slowly and completely for three to five seconds.
  3. Put your mouth on the mouthpiece and inhale deeply.
  4. Hold your breath for 10 seconds.
  5. Exhale slowly.
  6. Repeat these steps as instructed by your provider until you’ve taken the prescribed number of doses.

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Green
Different DPIs work differently, but the following instructions will apply in most cases:

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding priming and loading your DPI with the correct dose of dry-powder medication.

Breathe out slowly and completely for three to five seconds.

Put your mouth on the mouthpiece and inhale deeply.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

Exhale slowly.

Repeat these steps as instructed by your provider until you’ve taken the prescribed number of doses.